AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- After a miserable Texas shooting
performance in the first half, Dion Dowell took the shortest route
possible to the basket.
There was no missing when Dowell threw down a two-handed dunk to
start the second half, a thunderous bucket that kick-started a 13-0
run that sent the Longhorns to a critical 63-51 win Saturday over
"We were ahead, then we turned it over and they're dunking
it," said Missouri coach Quin Snyder, whose team had held Texas to
just 6-of-32 shooting in the first half and led 25-24 at the break.
Dowell's dunk gave Texas new life. Kenny Taylor hit a 3-pointer,
Jason Klotz hit three straight baskets and Texas (19-8, 8-6) was
off and running to a win that guaranteed at least a .500
regular-season finish in the Big 12.
While that mark won't ensure the Longhorns a seventh consecutive
NCAA tournament bid, it was considered a necessary benchmark.
Klotz made a huge impact, particularly with forward Brad Buckman
playing just 19 minutes because of foul trouble. Buckman had five
double-doubles in the previous six games but finished with just
four points and six boards, all in the first half.
"He was unbelievable in the second half," guard Daniel Gibson
said of Klotz. "I told the guys `Let's just get the ball to Jason
and feed off him."
Klotz finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, none bigger than
his three straight buckets in the critical Texas run.
Just shooting 2-of-8 in the first half, Klotz hit a layup and
stepped away from the basket to swish two jumpers as the Longhorns
opened a 37-25 lead. He hit all four of his shots in the second.
"I thought Jason had the look on his face and the way he was
carrying himself, that he's going to make all his shots," said
Texas coach Rick Barnes.
The Longhorns also got 20 points from Taylor, who hit three of
his four 3-pointers in the second half.
Texas managed just two field goals over the final 13 minutes of
the first half but stayed close by hitting 10 of 14 free throws.
"I just knew we had to pick our energy up. Halftime was the
talk of talks," Klotz said.
"I told them I didn't think it was possible we could shoot the
ball any worse," Barnes said. "You have to believe you're not
going to shoot 18 percent again."
Far from it. Texas hit 12 of 17 shots in the second.
"That stretch when we went from up one to down 12 was basically
our mistakes," said Snyder, whose team committed five of its 19
turnovers during the Texas run.
Klotz's 3-point play with 9:51 left made it 47-33 before
Missouri rallied behind three consecutive 3-pointers, two by Jason
Conley, that cut it to 49-42. Conley led the Tigers with 15 points.
Taylor then hit two of his four 3-pointers, including one from
deep on the left wing just before the shot block buzzer that
snuffed the rally with just under two minutes to play.